Dancing Design and Moving Sound – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Dancing Design and Moving Sound

The Phelps Art Center recently awarded a grant of $4,450 to HWS Associate Professor of Dance Cadence Whittier to present “Dancing Design/Moving Sound,” an arts concert of professional caliber featuring integrated performance art forms from around the Finger Lakes area.

In applying for the grant, Whittier sought to tap into the civic responsibility and community engagement that are integral components of the Colleges’ mission as a student-centered learning environment, grounded in the values of equity and service. Her “Dancing Design/Moving Sound” project supports the Colleges’ mission by bringing concert, dance, music and visual art to the communities of the Finger Lakes, thus strengthening the Colleges’ connection with the local community through a sharing of cultural and intellectual resources.

“In the Finger Lakes area, outside of Rochester, Ithaca and Syracuse, there are not a lot of art events that promote local artists,” says Whittier. “Art is necessary, and it is important to both showcase and serve our rich and diverse community.”

Set for the fall of 2009 as part of the Finger Lakes Dance! Program, the arts concert will feature the work of seven choreographers, four musicians, one local composer, and two sculptors. Set in Geneva’s own Cracker Factory, the performance will be held in an intimate and large performing space, with the entire second floor transformed into a joint gallery and dance space. In addition to Whittier, the grant awards stipends to HWS faculty members Donna Davenport, Cynthia Williams and Michelle Ikle, all of whom will perform along with the BIODANCE company at the performance.

“We are seeking to actively connect with the Geneva audience,” says Whittier. “The grant is not designed for us to come in, perform and leave, but rather offer the opportunity for sustained engagement and a process of interaction.”

Whittier concludes art is a great way to interact with the community. “This grant offers the chance to enhance the exciting things that are happening in Geneva.”

The photo above features Whittier performing at last year’s faculty dance concert.